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How Long Does it Take to See Results With Weightlifting?



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I returned to the gym on November 22nd and have only missed a couple of days since then/going 7 days a week. I'm doing 60-90 minutes of cardio at the gym, plus every other day I'm doing strength training on the weight lifting machines and lifting small light dumbbells at home.

I should have taken measurements when I started working out two months ago but I didn't.

Now the scale isn't moving down, but it could be my new fitness routine and muscle gain.

How long should it take before I can start seeing some muscle definition in my arms and/or tell that the weightlifting is working? Is it too late for me to measure now and into the future to track changes?

I'd like to see some arm definition by May if possible.

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You may not be able to "build" a lot of muscle definition. It's actually really really hard to "gain" muscle weight, especially for women, people in their 40s or older, and people on a low calorie diet. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do strength training; it absolutely is important for maintaining muscle mass which is often lost when you lose weight quickly. Also, you may have lose skin which could interfere with measuring any muscle gains.

Maybe I'm wrong - but don't expect to see a huge gain even over many months

Good luck!

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make sure you get adequate rest between workout days most people train 3 days rest 1, you will be able to gain muscle and tone up nicely providing you train correctly. you will need to lift the heaviest weight you can to build muscle and get that nice muscle definition, I would assume your gym would have someone there to guide you with this. It will take about 3 months for you to notice changes :)

Edited by SleeverSk

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I would really suggest that you invest in some sessions with a trainer. If you want to build muscle then using machines and small weights really isn't the way to do it. Using free weights with proper technique is the way. Get a trainer who knows lifting, preferably a powerlifter and they can help you.

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60-90 minutes of cardio a day and working out 7x a week seems like too much to be consistent and it isn't necessary! Consistency and sustainability are key for muscle building, don't burn yourself out!

I have been doing a workout regimen of 5-6 days per week, 30 mins cardio (running or spin bike) and 30 mins strength. Sometimes I'll change it up and do a 45/15 min breakdown. I have been doing solely Peloton rides, runs, and strength training and started to see definition after about 4-6 months. I do focus days vs. full body, i.e. "glutes and legs" one day, "arms and shoulders" another, "core another" and usually add in a yoga day for recovery and flexibility. Combined with a high Protein diet this has worked well for me. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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AGREED^^^^.

Building muscle takes a lot of time and a lot has to do with our diet. It is even harder to build muscle when in a calorie deficit. For me its taken a while to figure out my body and the calories where i can can muscle but not weight. But thats a much slower process then just eating in a calorie surplus and trying to bulk quick.

I also only work out 5-6 times a week and 90 minutes at the most. I mainly do crossfit. Crossfit is for everyone if youd like to try! But regardless of what youre doing, consistency is key. Keep going and take pictures weekly so you can see changes!!

Youve got this!

me.jpg

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I agree with the recommendation to work with a trainer. You can talk through your goals and what you want to accomplish through your exercise regimen (flexibility, balance [so important as we age], building muscle, etc) and the best ways to accomplish those goals. It's a financial investment, but well worth the guidance. There is a wide spectrum between using light weights and powerlifting, which a good trainer can help you navigate safely, without causing injury or overtaxing your body.

I also would point out that strength training will probably be more obvious in how it helps every day life sooner than you might notice it appearance-wise, especially if you are doing functional training. Even at my heaviest, I was training regularly (cardio, strength, balance, etc) and honestly it made life so much easier compared to when I wasn't.

Edited by Queen ApisM

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I'm with @JAKE H - if you can, try out CrossFit. The exercises look intense but can be scaled down to the level where you are, and you build up. Most CrossFit classes are a combination of pure strength (today was barbell power cleans) and then a high-intensity workout (today was short runs, dumbbell cleans, and pull-ups or ring rows).

That said, I don't do CF every day. 7 days a week is too much. I usually do CF 3-4 days a week, go for a decent run (5k) twice a week, and do mobility work (with a program called ROMWOD) 3-4 days a week. And sometimes my body goes on strike and I do sweet f🤬-all for a day or even two.

The result is that I have very little loose skin (a little around my chest and some in the front of my stomach), and my metabolism is at full rev most of the time.

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Another thing to note is you will “notice” more muscle definition the less overlaying tissue you have covering it (i.e., fat and skin).

Prior to my arm lift, I needed to flex to see see any muscles. After the arm lift, they could be clearly “noticed” with my arm just hanging by my side (full disclosure: my muscles are in hiding again these days due to pandemic laziness, lol)

But of course, just because you can’t see or notice them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there! Best way to determine lean muscle mass gain is to get scanned.

Good Luck! ❤️

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4 minutes ago, ms.sss said:

Another thing to note is you will “notice” more muscle definition the less overlaying tissue you have covering it (i.e., fat and skin).

Prior to my arm lift, I needed to flex to see see any muscles. After the arm lift, they could be clearly “noticed” with my arm just hanging by my side (full disclosure: my muscles are in hiding again these days due to pandemic laziness, lol)

But of course, just because you can’t see or notice them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there! Best way to determine lean muscle mass gain is to get scanned.

Good Luck! ❤️

Thanks for the reminder! It's time to schedule my next DEXA scan!

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9 minutes ago, lizonaplane said:

Thanks for the reminder! It's time to schedule my next DEXA scan!

Oh, right! I need one next month too. It's actually really motivating to see the muscle number go up (after the initial drop, lol)... it also moves me closer to my goal weight which is based on body fat percentage... raising the floor rather than lowering the ceiling, IYKWIM.

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